Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sturges' movie tips

Slate movie crtic David Edelstein asked his readers to recommend remedial viewing for Woody Allen, films to remind him that while comedy and tragedy may be as intertwined as he suggests in "Melinda and Melinda," other films make the point far better -- and more entertainingly, too. The overwhelming first choice was Sullivan's Travels (though Edelstein prefers The Lady Eve.) The Washington Post's Desson Thomson has an insightful look at where Woody went wrong (and where he used to go right). And this New York Times piece by Manohla Dargis includes Sturges' movie-making rules, well worth the attention of Woody Allen and everyone else making movies:

1. A pretty girl is better than an ugly one.

2. A leg is better than an arm.

3. A bedroom is better than a living room.

4. An arrival is better than a departure.

5. A birth is better than a death.

6. A chase is better than a chat.

7. A dog is better than a landscape.

8. A kitten is better than a dog.

9. A baby is better than a kitten.

10. A kiss is better than a baby.

11. A pratfall is better than anything.

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